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Lectures & Courses

I. Winter Semester Programme of Course ECN X

ECNStudyProgramme_WS2015_2016 (pdf)

Syllabus WS2015_16 (pdf)

II. Detailed Content of Teaching Programme

1. Experimental Neurosciences in context of Neuropsychiatric Diseases

Molecular / cellular neurobiology, neurogenetics:

  • neuronal signaling cascades
  • brain neuropeptides: gene expression, dynamics of synthesis, axonal transport, storage, axonal and dendritic release
  • methods to experimentally manipulate these neuropeptide parameters: genomics, proteomics, gene manipulation via antisense targeting, adenovirale vectors, transgenic animals
  • in vitro and in vivo approaches
  • model systems of neurogenetics in context of neuropsychiatric diseases
  • genetic polymorphisms and manipulation of the serotonin-transporter: clinical importance

Neurobiochemistry of neuroactive substances:

  • ligand-receptor-interactions, intraneuronal signal transduction; pathophysiological phenomena
  • neurotransmission and molecular imaging
  • drug targeting in the central nervous system, development/molecular effects of synthetic receptor agonists/antagonists and allosteric modulators (e.g. serotonin - / histamin receptors)
  • neuroactive steroids in psychopathologies, interactions with GABA receptors


  • neurogenetic processes, genetic and epigenetic factors
  • molecular/cellular markers and mechanisms of neuronal plasticity, cell adhesion molecules, NGF
  • molecular/cellular mechanisms of neurogenesis, cell differentiation, apoptosis, neurodegeneration and –regeneration, repair mechanisms
  • functional, systemic consequences (neuroendocrine, emotional, cognitive)
  • the visual cortex as example for neuronal plasticity, receptive fields, neuronal synchronisation, and neurotrophines

Behavioural and cognitive neurosciences:

  • functional neuroanatomy of behaviour
  • interpretation of behavioural tests in laboratory mammals: cognition, anxiety, social behaviours (aggression, maternal behaviour)
  • experimental analysis of human behaviour (cognition, emotion, motoric)
  • use of specific functional tests for quantification of cognitive and motoric disturbances in neurodegenerative diseases
  • importance of circadian rhythm in therapy and behavioural analysis

Molecular and cellular mechanisms of emotions:

  • neuronal correlates of emotions (anxiety, depression-like behaviour, aggression)
  • correlation of molecular markers (gene expression of neuropeptides, receptors, release patterns, polymorphisms, single-nucleotide-polymorphisms [SNPs]) in animal models with psychopathological parameters in humans
  • genetic and environmental factors of emotionality
  • the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis: physiological and pathophysological adaptations, effects of early life stress, effects of chronic stress in adulthood, role in neurodegeneration
  • hippocampal/hypothalamic glucocorticoid-regulation: link to psychiatric research * the intracerebral activity of the corticotropin-releasing-hormone (CRH) system, patterns of expression
  • molecular/neuronal/endocrine mechanisms of pharmacological intervention

2. Clinical Neurosciences in context of Neurodegenerative and Psychiatric Diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases:

  • pathologies of basal ganglia, spinal ataxy, prion diseases, Alzheimer
  • neurodegeneration and the somato-sensory system
  • neurodegeneration and clinical neurogenetics of migration anomalies in epilepsy
  • clinical neurobiology of epilepsy, imaging and therapeutic concepts, axonal degeneration
  • plasticity and transformation, physiological adaptations
  • neurovascular system, hypoxy, reorganisation after infarct / trauma
  • modern pathoneurobiology (diseases of channels, Prion-diseases, oxidative stress, chronic inflammation during motorneuron-diseases
  • autonomic nervous system and (peripheral/central) neurodegeneration

Neuropsychiatric diseases:

  • concepts of psychiatric disturbances
  • clinical neurobiology and therapy of psychoses, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, addiction
  • psychopharmacology / pharmacopsychiatry, regeneration and plasticity
  • affective diseases and suicide

Model-systems of neurodegenerative diseases, imaging:

  • experimental and clinical imaging in neurosciences
  • animal imaging, NMR, CT
  • animal models of neurodegeneration / somato-sensory system
  • in vitro techniques: plasticity and transformation, gene expression
  • therapeutic modulation, relevant animal models
  • proteomics and lipid functions in signaling in neurobiological context

Immune system and CNS:

  • cellular and humoral immunefunctions and CNS during neurological diseases, immunologic surveillance, immunologic memory and CNS
  • basics of CNS infections, viral infections, autoimmunity, axonal and neuronal degeneration
  • immune system and autonomic system, aspects of psychoneuroimmunology

3. Accompanying seminars qualifications:

  • applied biostatistics and biometrics
  • powerpoint presentations/rhetoric exercises
  • ethics in (neuro)sciences
  • weekend-seminar with selected scientific topics and invited speakers


discussion of papers relevant for ongoing lectures/seminars